tough crowd
June 11, 2020

Growing desperate for movies to watch in quarantine? You should still remain far away from Disney's Artemis Fowl this weekend, according to critics.

Reviews for the long-awaited film adaptation of the popular book dropped on Thursday ahead of its Disney+ debut, and critics seemed mostly in agreement that Artemis Fowl is a total bust, with the movie currently holding a shockingly low Rotten Tomatoes score of just 13 percent.

Slashfilm gave the film a devastating 1 out of 10 score, calling it a "profoundly joyless exercise" that "completely misunderstands the appeal of the original books" and diverges heavily from them. Collider, meanwhile, slapped it with an F, calling it a "chore" and "one of the dullest adventure movies in recent memory," and ScreenCrush described it as a "complete disaster" that attempts to cram in far too much plot into its 90-minute runtime. Yet despite the brief length, Variety says the "downright awful" movie still feels "tortuously long," and Uproxx says it disproves the idea that "any new movie is nice" to have right now.

The New York Times also writes that the film "projects absolutely nothing beyond a desire to kick-start a new hotshot franchise," a franchise that now appears quite unlikely to go forward. A few critics had kinder things to say, with the Chicago Sun-Times' Richard Roeper calling it a "warm and funny and entertaining at-home family viewing experience." But based on Rotten Tomatoes, these reviewers were certainly in the minority.

Artemis Fowl, which is directed by Kenneth Branagh, was previously set to hit theaters last month, but after theaters shuttered, it got a release directly on Disney+ instead. Disney has had live-action box office flops before like The Nutcracker and the Four Realms, and it seems Artemis Fowl heading to streaming may have helped it just barely avoid that grim fate. Brendan Morrow

May 26, 2020

Houston, we have a problem.

Netflix's highly-anticipated new comedy Space Force, which stars Steve Carell and comes from The Office creator Greg Daniels, is being hit with unexpectedly brutal reviews from critics ahead of its streaming debut.

The series, inspired by President Trump's announcement of the creation of a new branch of the military called Space Force, is "largely unfunny" with "little to warrant a recommendation," and "there is an absence of a point of view," writes The Daily Beast.

Time agrees the show is "a bust," while Entertainment Weekly describes it as "an innocuous and startlingly unfunny sitcom" that "often plays like a show that was reverse-engineered around a title" and is surprisingly apolitical despite the subject matter. Variety says it's "just okay" and sometimes "buckles under the weight of its own ambition," while The Hollywood Reporter says the show "isn't close to consistent," and Consequence of Sound deems it a show "for people either desperate for new Office content, or who still find 'covfefe' funny."

Some slightly more positive reviews for Space Force were still fairly lukewarm, as IndieWire gave it a B rating while describing the comedy as "serviceable."

This is Carell's first regular starring role in a comedy series since his departure from The Office, and it comes to Netflix as the streamer is set to lose The Office's streaming rights. Space Force is also the second Carell-starring streaming show that looked like a sure bet on paper but was met with unexpectedly mixed-to-negative reviews from critics after Apple's The Morning Show. For those interested in giving Space Force a shot, its liftoff is set for May 29. Brendan Morrow

See More Speed Reads